OUTGOING President of Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, said on Friday that the death of her husband hit her seriously and tore her world apart.
This is as Bulkachuwa inaugurated the reconstructed and furnished seven official quarters for judges of the Court of Appeal, developed by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike’s administration.
Speaking during the valedictory court session in her honour at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, Justice Bulkachuwa said that she would invest her experiences for the good of mankind.
“The death of my husband tore my world apart. This tragedy hit me really bad. I scaled through the moments of despair with the help of my extended family and friends. The deep scars of his death will follow me for the rest of my life.
“My life has been awesomely phenomenal. I was born at a time when it was difficult for girls to go to school and even when they did, they were not allowed to go beyond primary school level before being married off.
“I was lucky to have a father who had an interest that I’d be educated. I was married twice to supportive men, who encouraged me to be the best and assisted me to my successes,” Bulkachuwa recalled.
Justice Bulkachuwa, however, declared that she would use the rest of her life for the service of her community and the rest of the world.
She said, “As I go into retirement, the lessons of years past are going with me. I will spend my next phase of life, giving more of myself to my society and to the world at large.
“I want to look back and smile in the knowledge that all I have done, all I have learnt, all that I have experienced, will not be in vain. I will make sure that others benefit from that.”
Bulkachuwa stated that she wanted to be remembered as a woman, who contributed to the development of the country.
She added, “I will go away with good cheers. I pray that life will continue to be good. In the midst of my bitter experiences, more than everything else, I want to be remembered as that woman who judged right, who did the best she could in every situation and who loves her country.”
She praised her late father, husband and her present husband for their very positive contributions to her successful career.
In his remarks while presenting the seven official quarters for the inauguration, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, described the project as the contribution of the state government to the Court of Appeal.
He said, “We have developed these houses for the justices of the Court of Appeal. We also have for the Presiding Justice and other justices.
“The reconstruction, upgrade and furnishing of these houses form the contribution of the Rivers State Government to the Court of Appeal.”
The state governor disclosed that the state judges’ quarters were ready for inauguration, saying, “We also urge that you take a look at the judges’ quarters, which we are building for our State High Court judges. This shows that we also care for our judges.”
Also, President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, represented by the former NBA President, Okey Wali, SAN, explained that the life of Bulkachuwa reminded the society of what women could achieve if given the opportunity.
Usoro described the retiring President of Court of Appeal as an extremely successful role model of multi-tasking women. He said that she should be celebrated as a gender champion.